Makers Corner: Abi Gill Calligrapher

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We caught up with Abi who kindly shared her hobby and passion with us.

Please tell us about yourself?

I’m Abi and I am the founder of Abigail’s Calligraphy based in Haringey, north London. I started practicing calligraphy seriously about three years ago and have slowly started turning it into a business, mainly providing calligraphy for weddings but also making cards and gifts.

Can you please tell us what inspired you to turn your hands to calligraphy?

I’ve always admired beautiful handwriting. It’s a huge part of someone’s individuality. But it’s also something we see less and less of, as we all communicate through our phones and computers. I don’t know what most of my friends handwriting even looks like! I decided to take a couple of calligraphy courses to unwind and rediscover the beauty of creating something hand written.

The more I practiced and learnt, the more inspired I became. There are hundreds of different styles of calligraphy, known as scripts, many dating back hundreds of years. I learnt to write italic script, which is one most of us are familiar with. Perfecting a script takes years of practice and an eye for the technical, each script has different rules on the necessary angles and line heights. I branched into modern calligraphy too, which is a little more free flowing and is popular at the moment. This is what I use for most of my products.

What is it like to juggle your passion whilst holding down a full-time job?

Calligraphy is my hobby and it’s how I relax. I try and spend as much time as I can writing, but it can be hard. I work full time for the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint. Sometimes it can be hard to find as much time as I want to for my calligraphy after a full day at work. If your craft isn’t your main income, I think it’s important to be kind to yourself and not pressure yourself to work on it when you’re not in the right headspace or you’re tired, otherwise it becomes a chore rather than an enjoyment.

How do you limit your impact on the environment?

I create a whole range of calligraphy based products but I’m mainly selling cards at the market. The thing that strikes me about most card shops is the amount of single use plastic wrapping every single card. Nobody wants a grubby card, but we also don’t need the plastic to be single use. My cards are in plastic so you can pick them up and have a good look, but when you buy one I’ll keep the plastic to use again and you take it home in a recyclable paper bag.

Can you please tell us of your future aspirations?

I feel like I am very much at the start of my calligraphy business journey and I’m really excited to see where it will go! I love providing calligraphy services for weddings as it’s such a special thing to have something unique and handmade at your big day, so I hope to reach more brides and grooms! Alongside cards and postcards, I also want to explore where else I can use calligraphy. Ideas are always welcome and I’m always up for collaborating with others!

You can view more of Abi’s pieces at our makers market and Great Get Together on June 23rd, The Pavilion, Bruce Castle Park, N17 8NJ. Until then…

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